The Finishing Touch was mobbed for the first day of its "quitting business" sale Thursday.
After 27 years in business in the Brainerd area, owner Bob Dryden announced the store closing. The store, a gift and collectibles shop noted for its Christmas displays and Department 56 village scenes, was part of the East Brainerd Mall for many years. About two years ago, Bob and Linda Dryden moved their store to Highway 371 in Baxter.
A seven-year survivor of breast cancer, Linda Dryden was active in fighting cancer on a personal and professional basis. Her efforts went so far as an involvement with the creation of a Roman Inc. Seraphim angel figurine named "Hope -- A Light in the Distance." Her family reported the effort ultimately resulted in a $500,000 donation by the company to help find the cure for breast cancer.
Linda Dryden died in 2003 as the result of metastasized breast cancer.
"It's no fun doing it alone," Bob Dryden said. "After 27 years of having fun and doing it together, it just isn't fun anymore."
And he said he did not want to sell the business outright to have someone else run The Finishing Touch. "This is Linda's shop."
The Drydens would have been married 40 years in August. They thrived on working together, Bob Dryden said. After 27 years, he said, they had a "pretty good run."
"This has always been a team effort -- a little old ma-and-pa business and pa doesn't want to do it all alone."
Bob Dryden hired a company from Denver to handle the closing. He said about 1,000 people were in the store Thursday.
The Finishing Touch will be open until everything is sold. The building may be for sale or lease. Bob Dryden said he was undecided about what would happen to the aptly named Der Blumen Wagen -- the Volkswagen Bug that was decorated with the seasons outside the building. The Bug became a spot for tourist photographs and even the backdrop for a wedding party with their limo stretched behind the Beetle.
Other notable comings and goings:
Kohl's will open its doors Aug. 20.
People's Small Loan Co. has a new location on First Street in Little Falls. Owners are Keith and George McAdams. The business manager is Julie Sievert. The loan company's roots are in Park Rapids where it started eight years ago before expanding to numerous locations.
Nutrition Services Inc. opens Monday in the former Caf Giardinos building on Washington Street in Brainerd. The business, which provides meals for seniors among other activities, is leasing the space.
Magic Nails opened in the Lora B's Plaza in Little Falls. The business is owned by Jimmy Nguyen and Helen Dang. They have 10 years of experience in the business.
Tiki Hut is to open in the former Hasse's restaurant along Highway 210 near the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport. The business recently received a tobacco license from Crow Wing County.
The Lonesome Cottage furniture showroom in the Grizzly's Center is expected to open in mid-August.
RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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